Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Trixie Belden #9 Happy Valley Mystery and #10 Marshland Mystery

In Trixie Belden #9, The Happy Valley Mystery, the Bob-Whites stay with the Beldens' Uncle Andrew on his sheep farm in Iowa.  When Trixie learns that Uncle Andrew's sheep are being stolen by thieves, she is immediately on the hunt for the culprits.  Trixie keeps accusing the wrong people of being thieves based only on how suspicious she thinks they look.  All of the adults laugh at Trixie's exploits as she vows to solve the mystery.

I used to love this book, and the flood scene with Jim, Trixie, and Honey is one of my most vivid memories from reading the Trixie Belden books while in the sixth grade.  The story did not hold up at all.  Trixie's stupid mistakes are too stupid for me.  I did not enjoy seeing Trixie get laughed at over and over.  Half of the story is Trixie made into a laughingstock.  The other half of the story consists of too much information about  4-H, sheep farming, jackrabbit hunting, and comparisons between Iowa and New York.

With this book, the Bob-Whites have paired off into couples that are suddenly slightly romantically interested in each other.  It seemed forced to me on this reading.  In fact, this book reads much like a malt shop book, which is not my kind of book.

The book is not much of a mystery, and there is no real detecting.

I did not enjoy this book, aside from the flood scene which I still enjoy.

In Trixie Belden #10, The Marshland Mystery, Trixie wants to replace Miss Bennett's herb collection, which was destroyed by a clumsy student.  Brian gives Trixie directions to Martin's Marsh.  During the outing, Trixie and Honey meet Miss Rachel, who is the last of the Martins.

Meanwhile, a child prodigy named Gaye is staying with the Wheelers.  Gaye will be playing in a recital and has to practice constantly.  Gaye is a very snobbish young girl, and she is also very unhappy.  Gaye also goes out to the marsh, and Gaye's adventure leads to complications for Miss Rachel, who may end up losing her home.

I have always considered this cover to be creepy and scary.

On page 19, we learn that the bracelet that Jim gave Trixie in the previous book is not a sentimental gift.  Oh, really?  The bracelet has "Jim" engraved on it.  How very odd for Jim to give Trixie a bracelet that is not sentimental but just happens to have his name engraved on it.

Trixie turns 14 at the end of this book, and her age is frozen at 14 for the rest of the series.

In my opinion, the series hits its stride with this book.  The Julie Campbell books are excellent and serve to set up the premise of the series.  The books between the Julie Campbell books and this one are transition volumes.  From this point on, the Bob-Whites just are.  This book hits the right tone.

This is an excellent story, and I enjoyed it as much as ever.

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